Planting Bare Root Strawberries

Notice: Planting bare root strawberries in milk crates, bags, or hot weather, need to be started in pots or cups first. Just call 919-696-0328 if you have a question.

Congratulations on adopting your new bare root strawberries, and if you haven’t yet, you may just want to get some for yourself!

Bare root strawberry plants are extremely hardy and rewarding plants to own making them a great choice for families, enthusiasts, and even those more serious about their gardening!

All varieties have their own unique characteristics, but generally, they can be broken down into three distinct categories: everbearing, day neutral, and june bearing.

Generally, everbearing strawberry plants produce berries starting in spring through summer and early fall at distinct times throughout the year.

Day neutral strawberry plants were bred from everbearing strawberry plants for the purpose of producing berries continuously throughout summer and early fall.

Finally, June bearing strawberry plants produce their yield of berries once per year, typically in June. June bearing and everbearing strawberries also produce runners that root, eventually establishing new plants. If not controlled, this gives the gardener the option of great ground cover.

How to Plant Bare Root Strawberry Plants

Although bare root strawberries are quite hardy, proper planting and care is still at the utmost importance! Below are steps we strongly encourage you to follow for the most success with your newly adopted strawberries!

If it is regularly over 78 degrees outside currently where you live, your bare root strawberries need to be started inside. Still prepare your soil as directed below in terms of soil mixture and creating elevated mounds or rows, but DO NOT plant your strawberry plants outside until they have at least four leaves!

Cups or something similar make a great container to get your strawberries started off right!

Notice: When you receive your plants, they will be on the dryer side. We do not send our plants with a lot of moisture because they can start to mold inside the package. Dry roots will not hurt the plant. It will usually be the last inch that are dry and the rest will be good. If you would like, you can also cut the roots to 3" in length. To test if your crown is alive, peel back some of the brown foliage around the crown. Underneath, the crown should be green. Within three days of planting you will know that your plant is healthy and alive!

Step 1: Proper Soil for Strawberries

Poor soil for your strawberry plants will quickly kill them or strongly hinder their growth.

Your soil should be well draining and contain a minimum of 30% to 40% sand with the rest of it being good quality soil. You’ll want to stay away from peat moss and perlite.  

Step 2: Prepare Your Planting Site

Planting strawberry plants in rows allows for proper drainage.
Planting strawberry plants in rows allows for excess water to roll off.

Your soil needs to be shaped in to raised rows that are approximately 4" tall and 6" wide. This allows excess water to roll away from the plant when it rains or when you water them. Without these rows, your strawberry plants could drown!

Step 3: Planting Bare Root Strawberries Properly

The crown is the next important aspect of planting. The crown is where the roots meet together into a hard bulb. During planting, the crown needs to stay dry the whole time and only the roots are planted below the surface. If the crown stays wet for a period of time, it will start to rot and the smallest crowns will die off first.

Step 4: Finishing the Planting Site

Your final step that we highly recommend is to cover the soil around the crown and in the garden bed with mulch. The mulch needs to be about a centimeter thick. What the mulch does is lock in the moisture in the soil.

It’s very important though to not cover the crown with mulch. This may result in the crowns rotting. In addition to this, you need to pick a non-acidic mulch such as: cedar, hemlock, most Home Depot or Lowes mulches. Not pine bark or needles!

Planting in Other Containers

Strawberries don't always have to be planted in a garden bed! Here are a few of the most common ways our customers plant their strawberry plants outside of the garden properly.

Planting Bare Root Strawberries in Stackable Containers

First make the holes bigger on the Mr. Stacky and pack in the soil firmly. You will still want to form the island to keep excess water away from the plant.

After planting, still mulch to keep in moisture. Just do not cover the crown.

Never ever put a stackable in full sun unless it has an automated watering system. They can cook and dry out in one day.

Planting in Containers

Each plant needs a 1 gallon pot for itself. Still form the island as stated above and make sure you put mulch on the top layer of soil.

Important: No containers should be placed in full sun unless you are able to water them twice a day!

Call With Questions

Best of luck with your new bare root strawberries and if you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call 919-696-0328. You can also send pictures to this number so that I can help you with the entire process!